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Powermatic vs Jet 15HH

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Forum topic by Brian posted 03-01-2016 09:38 PM 1214 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brian

177 posts in 1499 days


03-01-2016 09:38 PM

With the sale starting March 4th, I’ve decided to upgrade from my Dewalt 735. I can’t make the math work to justify buying a Grizzly, so I’ve decided on either the Powermatic or Jet 15” planers.

Powermatic 15HH $3,050 – 10% sale ~ $2,750
Jet 15HH $2,750 – 15% sale ~ $2,350

The machines are near identical. I contacted the company directly, and they advise that the cutterhead is the only main difference. While I don’t think I can go wrong with either machine, I want to make the best purchase.

If they were same in price I would for sure go with the Powermatic for the sole reason of I have a PM141, PM30, and PM50 already that were older machines but have been restored. Because the Powermatic is more, and I’m told that their sale will be less, I don’t know that there is a $400 difference in machines.

Anyone have any experiences that can help?

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor


25 replies so far

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MrUnix

4246 posts in 1666 days


#1 posted 03-01-2016 09:49 PM

IIRC, since 2002, both Jet and Powermatic are owned by the same company (WMH Tool Group). I haven’t looked deeply, but I would not be surprised to find that they are identical machines with, as you heard from the company, only the cutterhead being different… (Powermatic states a Byrd Shelix head w/74 inserts, the Jet doesn’t specify brand and has 68 inserts). The main machines probably come out of the same assembly line in the same factory, have the same gearbox and motor size, and both have 5 year warranties.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#2 posted 03-02-2016 02:32 AM

Sounds like they are the same machine with different cutterheads. Can you buy a Jet with upgraded helix head?

FYI, Jet/PM was sold a couple years ago to a company that chops up bankruptcies.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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marc_rosen

81 posts in 2648 days


#3 posted 03-02-2016 03:03 AM

Hello Brian,
I bought the Powermatic in November 2014 and made the same comparison to the Jet. Then, PM was offering 15% discount. The major differences I saw was cast iron feed tables for the PM vs rollers on the Jet. The shop I bought it from told me they were functionally the same machine and I do not recall any mention of a cutterhead difference, although he could have told me that. I know PM offers a 5 year warranty but I don’t know if Jet is the same, (although I just re-read Brad’s post and he says they do, but I decide not to edit my post anyway) but if you do your own repairs that’s less significant. (and I also saw the JET pictured with either cast iron or roller feed tables).
Not trying to be sarcastic but $400 bus a lot of lumber and regardless of which one you get you’ll be pleased with its performance. Enjoy, Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

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Brian

177 posts in 1499 days


#4 posted 03-02-2016 03:11 AM

You are exactly right Marc about that buying a lot of lumber. That’s one of my hesitations to buy the Powermatic.
My largest hold up on the Jet is that I do not like the power switches on Jets 8” jointer. I’m going to upgrade my jointer next so that’s another consideration.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

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MrUnix

4246 posts in 1666 days


#5 posted 03-02-2016 03:18 AM

Where in AR are you? There are a couple of 18” powermatic beasts for $2K or less on CL right now in that general area :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Brian

177 posts in 1499 days


#6 posted 03-02-2016 03:22 AM

I’m in central Arkansas. I couldn’t unload a pm180 if it was given to me. Lol. Those are heavy bastards.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2281 days


#7 posted 03-02-2016 06:13 AM

It’s been a tough sell for me to upgrade for 2” additional width capacity. I put a Shelix head in the 735 instead. If I get a bigger planer, I would go for a 20”.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#8 posted 03-02-2016 12:48 PM


I can t make the math work to justify buying a Grizzly

If you look closely I you’ll see some remarkable similarity in the castings. Many Grizzly, Jet and PM machines have identical castings because they are made in the same foundry in Taiwan. There will be minor diffs in handles, switches, motors etc. My 20” Grizzly planer is identical to a PM and I don’t know how it could perform that much better.

I m in central Arkansas. I couldn t unload a pm180 if it was given to me. Lol. Those are heavy bastards.

- Brian

Trucks, trailers and engine hoists can be rented. It all depends on whether the bucks you will save are worth the time and effort.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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TheGreatJon

296 posts in 701 days


#9 posted 03-02-2016 01:44 PM



If you look closely I you ll see some remarkable similarity in the castings. Many Grizzly, Jet and PM machines have identical castings because they are made in the same foundry in Taiwan. There will be minor diffs in handles, switches, motors etc. My 20” Grizzly planer is identical to a PM and I don t know how it could perform that much better.

I’m also curious as to why the math on the Grizzly doesn’t work. Mr. Google tells me that a 15” grizzly with a spiral head (74 inserts) costs $1850 before any discounts that you might be able to finagle. There are a few differences in specs (max feed rate and max stock thickness are higher on the grizz) but overall they are very similar machines. They are probably made in the same factory and I’ve heard just as many great reviews about the griz as the PM or the Jet.

That being said, I am always a proponent of getting a used truly industrial-grade machine and spending a bit of time and money getting it to run like new again (PM160, SCMI, Delta RC63, etc). You would save some cash and end up with a machine that would outlast the options being discussed.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#10 posted 03-02-2016 01:57 PM

I’m interested in seeing how this pans out for you as many others are. I’m going to look at a little older JET 20” planer later this week. My only concern is it only has a 3hp motor which should be fine for most of what I’m interested in doing, but I know if I tried to plow off even 1/16” from an 18” wide red oak plank, it likely wouldn’t work out too well.

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Brian

177 posts in 1499 days


#11 posted 03-02-2016 02:23 PM

Completely ignoring the footprint that a PM180 would have, I still would not want a 1,200lb machine in a shop my size (26X28). I do not move equipment around often, but most everything does have a shop-built mobile base for the times that I do. Plus most of them will undoubtedly come three phase. Although I have restored several machines, I do not have time to work on anything to that extent right now. I have some deadlines that have to be met, so a week or two to restore an older machine isn’t in my cards unfortunately. That’s particularly sad given that I acquired the knife sharpening attachment for a PM180 earlier this year on accident. My closest fellow woodworker just finished a full restoration on a PM100. His machine is what really made me realize how much I was lacking in my shop. Never good when I feel the need to load up lumber just to use his equipment.

A lot of these machines are made Taiwan, some of them even in the same factory. However, my research would indicate that each component has tolerances assigned by the branding company. Because Powermatic would have tighter tolerances, it essentially would be made with the best components in a batch. That doesn’t mean a Grizzly component is going to break by any means, but it does keep them from being the exact same machine. I can honestly say my Grizzly jointer (before broken by a moving company) was a great machine.

Grizzly’s downfall is their freight charges. Once you add all of their charges that would be necessary to actually get it in the shop, the 453zw ends up being around $2,100. Sales and Coupons are not readily available, and they do not offer any discounts over the phone (I tried to make this decision a lot easier). Driving there saves no money because taxes eat up any savings that would be possible plus other expenses. I’m very comfortable paying the extra $250 to step up to a more branded company. Resale alone I believe justifies that expense.

Pinto – My upgrade to the 15” is for more than just the extra capacity. I use a lot of rough cut, sometimes wide, lumber. The Dewalt 735 is a great machine, but it often lacks the power I need to plane a 12” wide board. Depending on the species, it doesn’t always even like it at 1/64th.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

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Fred Hargis

3950 posts in 1961 days


#12 posted 03-02-2016 02:40 PM

Seems like the Byrd head (versus copies) would be worth more…though $400 is a whole lot just for that difference. I have nothing to offer other than to say I can understand the quandary and wish you the best with your decision.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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WhoMe

1472 posts in 2711 days


#13 posted 03-02-2016 03:00 PM

In my experience, pm has a better warranty than jet. Pm machines usually have better specs, machining is usually better, they have more usable features. Oh, and they have gold paint..lol
Though, in this case, it sounds like they are much closer machines.
Beside the cutter head, are you sure the motor is the same? I know of a couple machine lines where the better product line has a industrial continuous duty motor versus the lower line has a less industrial intermittent use type motor even though they are the same hp.
Just some thoughts…

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#14 posted 03-02-2016 03:19 PM

It would be interesting to see if there’s a difference in the motors between the two, I’ll have to look at the motor on the JET I’m looking at tonight to see what it is. I do suspect very few motors on any of these machines would have a duty rating of anything less than continuous as defined on the motor name plate as “cont.” behind the “duty” line item.

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Cato

693 posts in 2780 days


#15 posted 03-03-2016 12:52 PM

I’m a Jet guy and have a couple of their machines and been happy with them. However, between the two planers the PM looks to be the a slightly better machine comparing the specs though I’m just a hobbyist and very happy with my DW735.
The digital on the Powermatic is a nice touch. I put one my planer and it changed the whole ballgame in the way that I plane boards.

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